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Why Is There a Rumbling Sound Coming from My Water Heater’s Tank?

Odd noises from an appliance are an important warning that something is wrong with it. But when your water heater tanks starts to give off a rumbling sound, you might be a bit more likely to panic: is the water tank on the verge of bursting?

Probably not. We can give you that reassurance. However, you’re right to pay attention to this sound, since it may indicate a problem in the water heater that needs professionals to fix. We’ll look at reasons why the water heater may be acting this way.

Sediment at the bottom of the tank

This is one of main causes for a rumbling sound from a water heater tank. Over time, minerals in the water (primarily calcium) will start to form sediment along the bottom of the tank of the water heater. This will trap a layer of water between the sediment and the heat exchanger beneath, which is where heat from the burners is transferred to the water. The layer of water will boil, percolating up through the sediment and creating the rumbling noise.

This is a problem because that sediment restricts proper heat exchange, forcing the burner to stay on longer to properly heat the water. This means wasted energy and also a tank that will overheat, leading to a faster deterioration. Repair technicians will need to come in and drain and flush the tank to remove the sediment.

Broken dip tube

The dip tube carries cold water down through the middle of the tank and deposits it near the heat exchanger. If the tube breaks, it will deposit this cold water near the top of the tank, where it will mix with the hot water and create the rumbling sound. The tube needs to be replaced, or soon you won’t be receiving much hot water at all.

When you’re looking for effective water heater repairs in Wheat Ridge, CO or elsewhere in the Denver Metro, call Payless Plumbing, Heating & Drain Cleaning. We offer 24-hour emergency service!

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